Architectural Masterpiece of Oscar Niemeyer Restored
Connoisseurs of architecture of the mid-twentieth century, Michael and Gabrielle Boyd discovered a forgotten architectural masterpiece of Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer in Los Angeles and brought it back to life.
Forgotten Masterpiece of Oscar Niemeyer Restored
In the early 1960s, a film director Joseph Strick went to the International Film Festival in Argentina, and on his way back stopped in Brazil. There he was so struck by the country’s new capital, Brasilia, that he went to its architect Oscar Niemeyer right away, and asked him to design a house for him in Los Angeles.
Restored House of Oscar Niemeyer in Los Angeles
Niemeyer could not come to the U.S. to engage in a project in place, as the U.S. authorities did not give him a visa because he sympathized with the Communists. Strick had to communicate with the architect by mail.
They agreed on how the future house will look only on a third attempt. The first option was rejected by the director’s wife Anne. The second idea that presupposed arrangement of bedrooms in the basement, was prohibited by the local authorities. As a result, the third project was approved: a T-form house, with sliding walls, open plan and large terraces.
Restored House of Oscar Niemeyer, Terrace
Niemeyer proposed brick and glass as the main materials. Workers, who collaborated with the participants of the Case Study pilot program, were engaged in construction, so they already knew a lot about modern architecture.
Living room with sliding walls
Strick’s House in Santa Monica is the only private architectural project of Oscar Niemeyer in the United States, but the director did not live there. During the process of construction, he divorced and left the house to his ex-wife and children.
As for the house, it had a gloomy fate, like many other masterpieces of modernism – over the years it was abandoned and in 2003 narrowly escaped demolition.
It survived only due to the efforts of Michael and Gabrielle Boyd, Boyd Design’s founders. They specialize in restoration of buildings of mid-twentieth century. They had to deal with the heritage of John Lautner, Paul Rudolph and Richard Neutra, so the house really hit in the right hands.
Reconstruction of the house ended in 2007.
Sliding walls and large terrace
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